The Value of Employee Recognition

In today’s business world, it is easy to focus on the product rather the people.  But organizations that invest in high-performing employee recognition programs are some of the most successful, profitable and innovative companies in the world.  Employees who are recognized for what they do for your enterprise have the ability to transform your organization.  According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace “highly engaged businesses realize a 17% increase in productivity and a 41% reduction in absenteeism.”

Most companies have some kind of employee recognition programs; however, the companies that regularly review their engagement programs, engage employees for their feedback and measure initiatives against key performance indicators, KPIs, are the companies that take employee recognition from a nice to have a program to a key strategy in their company’s overall success.   As an HR leader, you are uniquely able to derive great benefits from employee recognition program.  The most effective programs create a company-wide communication tool of appreciation that mirrors their organizational culture, impact, and character.

Although each company should review their culture and unique when bringing in employee recognition into their total rewards programs, below are basic KPIs that serve a great place to begin when considering your program:

Productivity: Effective employee recognition should drive a measurable impact on productivity and overall performance.   Whether you measure your employee recognition program on a company, location or departmental level, start with establishing a baseline and creating a goal that may be measured by your programs influence.  This measure may be determined from employee surveys or even customer stratification but investing in a tangible reward program can produce a quantifiable increase in your company’s productivity.

Employee turnover:   Employees who feel recognized and valued will produce more than employees who feel unappreciated and overlooked.  Most HR departments a have their employee retention rates as part of their regular reporting, but implementing an effective employee engagement program should yield a measurable drop in your voluntary turnover rate.

Employee Engagement: Assessing the quality of employee recognition programs offer the chance to regularly pivot and develop your program to keep up with the engagement curve of your workplace.   Not only will regular reflection of your program drive your engagement efforts to the areas where your company may need it the most, but also serves to provide analytical data and feedback directly from your employee population.

Although these are only baseline units of measure for your employee engagement, the value and productivity can be measured in ways as unique as your organization.  Your company’s investment into the framework of your employee recognition program can be the measuring stick your company has been looking to find.